MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida – Miami-Dade Police have confirmed that a man is in custody in connection with the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of a 12-year-old boy, according to the News 6 partner WPLG-TV.
He was identified on Tuesday as Aliexpress Santiesteban, 43.
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Santiesteban faces charges of sexual assault with a fatal weapon / serious injury, kidnapping of a child under 13 and attempted murder.
The boy was sexually assaulted and shot over the weekend, officials said. The boy was temporarily blinded when a bullet hit him in the jaw and went through the other side of his head, authorities said on Monday.
He is still in great pain as he continues to recover at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The boy’s life was likely saved by a Good Samaritan, and medics say if the bullet passed a millimeter back and forth he would have died.
“The young boy said he couldn’t see at the time. He had lost his sight and he was using his touch to try to find his way to ask for help, ”said Det. Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
A man who says he only passes by Johnny says he found the young boy wandering alone and crying early on Saturday morning, a few blocks from the Foodland Market on Northwest 37th Avenue and 47th Street in Miam County- Dade. Johnny can be seen on video escorting the boy to the market for help.
“He was conscious, he fell on the sidewalk and said he had been shot. That’s all I know, ”Johnny said. “He was screaming, ‘Help someone, help me, please.’ So I [brought] him to the store where they could call the police.
Police said Santiesteban was driving a black four-door sedan.
According to investigators, the child was walking through the Brownsville neighborhood in northwest Miami-Dade County around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. on Saturday when he was abducted by Santiesteban, who forced him to leave. get in the car.
Police said the boy snuck out of his home on Friday night to go to a friend’s house, more than two miles away. He even placed pillows on his bed to make his parents believe he was still there.
The brutal attack happened during his long walk home.
UPDATE: 12 year old boy who was kidnapped, raped and shot and killed – snuck out of his home over the weekend to go to a friend’s house … even using pillows on his bed to cheat on his parents. The brutal attack happened when he returned home overnight. @ WPLGLocal10
– Terrell Forney (@TerrellWPLG) March 29, 2021
The victim told investigators she was dragged into the attacker’s car. He tried to get out, but the assailant set the child locks, he told police.
The car pulled into a ditch at Northwest 45th Street and 31st Avenue where investigators believe the sexual assault occurred. At one point, the child heard a loud bang and was pushed out of the car. He was shot in the face, was temporarily blinded, and used his touch to move around.
Foodland Market surveillance video shows witnesses coming to the boy’s aid and offering him water.
Within minutes, police and paramedics arrived, with an officer helping the child onto a stretcher before taking him to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
The crime left the neighbors in shock.
“When they told me it was a little boy, it’s awful,” Céline Mejia said. “It’s sick. So whoever did it has to surrender because it’s not fair. He’s a child.
Prior to Santiesteban’s arrest, police appealed to anyone with surveillance video or a Ring camera in the area to contact them.
“If this individual is so brazen to do this, God knows what else he is willing to do,” Zabaleta said. “The longer that person is there, the longer our children in this area are not safe.”
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